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blue ribbon, so do not add impertinence to your other faults." At this moment Mrs. Wittingham came up to us with such a look of benevolence in her countenance as plainly indicated that she was desirous of making peace amongst us; but she turned from us to our governess, as if she did not quite understand what was the matter
"Dear Madam," said my governess, in a tone of irritation, "I cannot tell you how these children distress me; I have told them again and again of the great impropriety of staring out of this window just as they come out of church; besides there is very unfit language to be heard at that Inn, and yet I cannot persuade them to listen to me; I have only just sent them up stairs while the cloth was being laid for dinner, and they have their collects to learn; surely that is a much more proper employment for them than making all this noise at an open window."
"But Ma'am" 1 repeated, looking eagerly at Mrs. Wittingham," the horses have blue ribbon on their heads."
She smiled at my earnestness, which rather surprised me.
"I am a stranger here," she said, turning to my governess,
"and I have no right to speak; but may I for once ask pardon for my little friends here? should they disobey you again, I must not interfere."
My governess continued to express her angry feelings towards us for some time, but at length she was induced to relent upon our promising not to repeat our offence, a promise, however, which we had often made before, and as often broken.
Two days after this memorable Sunday, when my governess was in the play-room with us, Mrs. Wittingham came again amongst us, and having walked about for some time, apparently examining the room, she turned to my governess, saying to her," the prospect from the window that is shut would, I think, be exceedingly agreeable."
"Perhaps it might," returned my governess, "it would be more extensive than that of the room below; but it was shut up when I took possession of the house, and I cannot afford to open it, as it would materially increase my window-tax."
"Could you not shut up the opposite window?" returned Mrs. Wittingham.
"I cannot disfigure my house to the street," returned my Governess, that will not do for a school."
Mrs. Wittingham made no answer at that time, but I believe some arrangement was afterwards made between her and my governess, with regard to the expence of opening this window, for in a few days the work was begun, and by the following Saturday all traces of carpenters and glaziers had entirely disappeared; but it was not till the next day that we were permitted to take a view of the improvement, for we had been carefully kept out of the room.
I shall never forget our first admission to this new source of pleasure; it was immediately after morning service, when we were about to be dismissed as usual, with our books and clean pinafores, that Mrs. Wittingham came to us, and addressing herself to my governess, she said to her, "you have promised me the pleasure of introducing my little friends to their new window."
"And it is fit you should” returned my governess, “as you have been the means of procuring such a pleasure for them, but I fear your kindness and your exertions for their good will be thrown away."
"I hope otherwise," she replied, looking kindly upon us all; then taking me by the hand, as having apparently attracted her attention by my childish appearance, and my great readiness to speak my sentiments, she led us all up stairs into the playroom, and first she made us all pause before the accustomed window which faced the street. "There is nothing very agreeable or attractive to be seen hence to-day," she said, "look out and tell me if there is; but, were even a mail coach with laurels and blue ribbons to pass, I think you would all confess the sight very inferior to what I have now to show you;" she then led us with something of ceremony to the newly opened bow-window, within which she had caused a circle of benches to be placed wide enough to furnish us all with seats.
It was a fine day in June, and a brilliant sun cast its glow upon every object. Our house stood upon a steep hill, descending on this side to a river; immediately below us was a hanging garden, into which we were seldom allowed to enter, whose terrace walk of shorn grass was bordered by flowers of every
hue and hedges of well-cropt yew; steps of smooth turf led from one terrace to another, till the garden had descended to the banks of the river; the river itself winding gracefully below, was peopled by many barges, with their sails swelling to a gentle breeze; on the other side were spread fertile meadows, covered with their haycocks, and beyond were a few cottages sprinkled amongst orchards, fringing the base of a rocky hill, which higher up the river projected its rough sides to the very banks of the water. The other side of this hill, and bounded by the horizon, was a landscape affording every variety of birds-eye view; tower, and spire, and hall, rising midst trees and lawns, woody clumps or barren uplands. Various were the exclamations of delight which we uttered, as we approached the window. Mrs. Wittingham enjoyed our pleasure for some minutes in silence, then, bidding us all sit down before the window, she began to enter into conversation with us. "Tell me, my dear children," she said, "do not you think this lovely view far preferable to the dirty street, and the coaches, and Inn, which you saw from the window where you were accustomed to spend so many of your Sunday hours. Your good Governess was very right in being so anxious to prevent you from doing this; we will call this your Sunday window."
"And the other our every day window," I interrupted.? "Why should we love Sunday," said she?
There was a silence of some minutes, the truth was, that many of us did not love Sunday, because it was a day of constant restraint to us; at last one of the little ones called out, "because we have plum-pudding Ma'am," at which we all laughed loud, and the lady smiled; "the person who made your hymn book," she replied, "knew nothing of your having plum-pudding for dinner when he wrote those beautiful words,
"O may I love this blessed day,
"If you do not love Sunday" she answered, "you must begin to do so from this day; a very long time ago I was surrounded with many lovely children, all my own, most of whom it has pleased God to take from me, and they are now, I doubt not, with him"-She was silent for a few minutes, and
we looked at her with a sort of interest to which we had hitherto been quite strangers.
She soon proceeded, "before they could speak plainly, my little children had learnt to love Sunday; they rejoiced when the day came, and would arrange their bibles on my table, and press round me to hear me explain the word of God to them, even the least, while he sat upon my lap, would not be content till he had his place found in his bible, though he could hardly tell his letters; and how eagerly would they listen to me when I talked to them of the love of Christ in dying for them, and of the time when they should see him face to face in heaven; should not travellers" she continued, turning quickly to us in a more sprightly way, love to think of their happy home?" Our faculties were then in too dormant a state to enter into all this kind lady said to us; we were pleased, but we wondered more.
"Are not these woods and hills," continued she," and those bold rocks, and those sunny fields, and that fine river, far more delightful objects for us to look at than the street; every minute as you look you may see some new object. Since I spoke, a little church has suddenly come into view upon the top of that distant woody field, a cloud, which had hid the sun from it, has passed away: just so, my dear children, if you will learn to love God's day, and try to understand your bibles, some new light will be every day dawning upon you."
It was thus that this excellent lady tried to give us an idea of the real pleasures of Sunday; at first we could not understand or receive what she said, those only excepted who had enjoyed the privilege of religious instruction at home. The affluence of her circumstances, her superior talents and acknowledged piety, very shortly invested Mrs. Wittingham with great influence over my governess, who was certainly a well disposed woman, and she gradually resigned to her the task of our religious instruction, a task which seemed exactly suited to her taste and habits; and the change which soon took place amongst us was a matter of astonishment to our governess, and I believe was made in time, the means of opening her eyes to pure and evangelical views of religion,
Nothing was omitted in our usual forms of Sunday business
at home; our collects and catechism were learnt and repeated as usual, though frequently indeed we performed the mechanical part of this business on the preceding Saturday ; but when we repeated these once formidable tasks to Mrs. Wittingham, she explained them to us, in so interesting a manner as to make us love what we had once abhorred. She soon had scarcely need to remind us of putting away all our play-things on a Sunday; and we ourselves within six weeks after the new window had been opened, requested permission that the shutters of the old window might not be unbarred on a Sunday. It was the custom of Mrs. Wittingham after morning service to hear us our lessons and explain them to us; and then as our attention had been sometime kept up, she would indulge us with some little allegory, or some history of pious children, with which her memory had been well stored, or she would point out various interesting objects from the scene before us, which she con-trived to connect with a spiritual truth.
After tea, she assembled us again to read our bibles with her, and every means which a clear knowledge of scripture, an apt, and simple, and lively method of explanation, with an earnest and tender love for our souls could suggest for our benefit, was then called in to render the book of God dear to us. Through the blessing of God, these means were not used in vain; nor was it only on Sunday that we enjoyed these privileges, generally once, and sometimes twice or thrice in the day we received a short scriptural lesson at the accustomed window. Mrs. Wittingham would often repeat to us that elegant saying of an old divine, that the golden thread of prayer should entwine itself in all the duties of the christian, and so she would say, should that golden thread of devotion with which we especially adorn Sunday, pass through the labours of the week, forming a holy connection with the following Sabbath.
In the cold winter evening, Mrs. Wittingham would generally invite us to read in her neat and comfortable parlour, and it was not a very rare occurrence that we drank tea with her and eat of her plum-cake; for I believe it was her opinion that though sensual enjoyment of any kind should not be the object of Sunday, yet such simple indulgences as are the accompaniment of a more social intercourse with their own